Law Students

Law Schools Where You’re Most Likely to Pay Off Your Debt
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Summary: These ten law schools’ graduates have an average starting salary that is more than their average debt. 

We’re told time and time again: There are fewer legal jobs out there, and the cost of law school is ridiculous. For instance, the most expensive law school in the country is Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. On average, students leave with a total indebtedness of $172,726, but the career prospects are bleak enough that the students feel the need to sue. While some could take this information and just say hell no to law school, there are actually good options out there, and U.S. News and World Report has compiled a list of the top 10.

  
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The publication famous for ranking schools has outdone themselves. They analyzed law schools’ salary-debt ratio, and they listed the top 10 law schools where students are more likely to pay off their loans. No surprise but these top schools were also ranked in the top 100 of U.S. News’ Best Law School List.

University of Texas–Austin, Yale, and UCLA had the highest median starting salary for graduates with the impressive amount of $160,000. According to U.S. News, UT-Austin students had an average debt of around $100,000 while Yale and UCLA were closer to $120,000. The amounts they studied came from 2014, which means that the $160,000 they listed was probably the former starting salary of BigLaw firms, which has since risen to $180,000. The reason these three schools made the list versus University of Pennsylvania, for instance, is because U-Penn graduates may get the same jobs as Yale or UCLA students but they also have the higher debt of almost $145,000.

Brigham Young University was recently named one of the schools with the most competitive students, and while that kind of environment may be stressful and irritating, it pays off in this case. Graduates start with an average salary of nearly $80,000, an amount that could easily wipe out their total student debt of $54,000.

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University of Alabama, University of Hawaii–Manoa, University of Wisconsin–Madison joined BYU as some of the least expensive schools on the list. While the starting salaries of the graduates at those schools did not match BigLaw salaries, they were still high enough to easily wipe out their debts.

Boston College and Boston University left their students with almost $100,000 in debt, but their graduates could expect to make $145,000/a year.



10 Law Schools Where Starting Salaries Exceed Debt
School (name) (state) Median private sector starting salary (2014 grads) Average student debt (2014 grads) Salary-to-debt ratio U.S. News law school rank
University of Texas—Austin $160,000 $100,868 1.59 15
University of Alabama $105,000 $69,440 1.51 28 (tie)
Boston College (MA) $145,000 $97,006 1.49 30 (tie)
Brigham Young University (Clark) (UT) $79,813 $54,203 1.47 38 (tie)
University of Wisconsin—Madison $115,000 $79,373 1.45 33 (tie)
University of Hawaii—Manoa (Richardson) $77,500 $56,266 1.38 92 (tie)
Yale University (CT) $160,000 $117,093 1.37 1
University of Connecticut $95,000 $70,139 1.35 65 (tie)
Boston University (MA) $145,000 $107,850 1.34 20 (tie)
University of California—Los Angeles $160,000 $121,066 1.32 17

Source: U.S News and World Report



 

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